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Stacy Garrop

Evanston, IL         

Stacy Garrop’s music is centered on dramatic and lyrical storytelling. The sharing of stories is a defining element of our humanity; we strive to share with others the experiences and concepts that we find compelling. Stacy shares stories by taking audiences on sonic journeys – some simple and beautiful, while others are complicated and dark – depending on the needs and dramatic shape of the story.

New Music USA and the League of American Orchestras have chosen Stacy and the Champaign-Urbana Symphony Orchestra as one of five orchestra/composer pairings for Music Alive’s 2016-2019 residence program. She has also been chosen by Chicago Opera Theater to be the inaugural Emerging Opera Composer of Chicago Opera Theater’s new Vanguard Initiative for 2018-2020, during which she will compose a new chamber opera.

Orchestral Experience

Stacy was composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony Orchestra in 2010/11.. She has personally worked on performances of her music with the Amarillo Symphony, Cabrillo Festival Orchestra, Charleston Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Grant Park Music Festival Orchestra, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, New England Philharmonic, Omaha Symphony, and Symphony New Hampshire. Additionally, her works have been performed by the Columbus Symphony, Minnesota Youth Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, Santa Cruz Symphony, and the Women’s Philharmonic. 

In 2015, Cedille Records released an all-Garrop CD containing three of her orchestral works (Mythology Symphony, Thunderwalker, and Shadow), recorded by the Chicago College of Performing Arts Symphony and Chamber Orchestras under the batons of Alondra de la Parra and Markand Thakar.


Stacy has received numerous awards and grants including a Fromm Music Foundation Grant, three Barlow Endowment commissions, Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Elaine Lebenbom Memorial Award, Boston Choral Ensemble Commission Competition, Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble’s Harvey Gaul Composition Competition, Raymond and Beverly Sackler Music Composition Prize, Sorel Medallion Choral Composition Competition, and competitions sponsored by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Omaha Symphony, and the New England Philharmonic. She has participated in reading session programs sponsored by the American Composers Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra (the Composers Institute), and Dale Warland Singers.

 Professional Experience

Theodore Presser Company publishes her chamber and orchestral works; she self-publishes her choral works under Inkjar Publishing Company. She is a recording artist with Cedille Records, with works on nine CDs; her works are also commercially available on Blue Griffin Recording, Chanticleer, Chicago a cappella Records, Equilibrium, Innova, Peninsula Women’s Chorus, Ravello Records, Saxophone Classics, and Summit Records. She has served as composer-in-residence with the Albany Symphony, Skaneateles Festival, and the Volti Choral Institute for High School Singers.

Commissions and Performances

Stacy has been commissioned and performed by the Albany Symphony and Minnesota Orchestra; by Kronos Quartet, Capitol Saxophone Quartet, and Gaudete Brass Quintet; and by Chanticleer, Chicago a cappella, Piedmont East Bay Children’s Chorus, San Francisco Choral Society, South Bend Chamber Singers, and Volti. Additional performances have been given by Fifth House Ensemble, Lincoln Trio, New EAR, Stony Brook Contemporary Chamber Players, and Voices of Change; and by Clerestory, Grant Park Music Festival Chorus, South Bend Chamber Singers, Voices of Ascension, and the William Ferris Chorale.


Stacy earned degrees in music composition at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor (B.M.), University of Chicago (M.A.), and Indiana University-Bloomington (D.M.).

For More Information

Please visit her website at www.garrop.com or her all-things-composition blog at www.composerinklings.com

Pandora Undone (orchestra, 2013)

“Pandora Undone” is the fifth and final movement of my Mythology Symphony. The music depicts a young, naïve Pandora who, while dancing around her house, spies a mysterious box. She tries to resist opening it, but her curiosity ultimately gets the best of her. When she cracks the lid open and looks inside, all evils escape into the world. Dismayed by what she has done, she looks inside the box once more. She discovers hope still in the box and releases it to temper the escaped evils and assuage mankind’s new burden.

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Penelope Waits (orchestra, 2013)

“Penelope Waits” is the second movement of my Mythology Symphony. This quiet movement represents Queen Penelope, the faithful wife of Odysseus, as she patiently waits twenty years for her husband’s return from fighting the Trojan Wars. Penelope herself is represented as an oboe. She is accompanied by a chamber orchestra (rather than the entire ensemble) as she keeps at bay the suitors who wish to marry her and inherit her riches.

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Helios (brass quintet, 2011)

In Greek mythology, Helios was the god of the sun. His head wreathed in light, he daily drove a chariot drawn by four horses across the sky. At the end of each day’s journey, he slept in a golden boat that carried him on the Okeanos River (a fresh water stream that encircled the flat earth) back to his rising place. The cyclic journey of Helios is depicted in this short work for brass quintet. The first half is fast-paced and very energetic, while the second half is slow and serene, representing day and night.

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